Review: 2023 Toyota GR Supra GTS (Manual Transmission) banner

Review: 2023 Toyota GR Supra GTS (Manual Transmission)

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Review: 2023 Toyota GR Supra GTS

Manual Transmission

When the current generation Toyota GR Supra launched in 2019, it lacked what many fans thought was a vital element needed to live up to the nameplate's legacy - a manual transmission.

The 2023 model year update has fulfilled this vision with both GT and GTS trims available in the existing sports automatic as well as a brand-new, BMW-derived six-speed manual gearbox. The new update has also introduced a new Matte White colour option that's sure to be a hit.

We recently had the opportunity to spend the weekend with this exceptional machine that came complete with the new manual transmission and colour option in the range-topping GTS trim.

Initial Impressions

First things first, this is by far one of the best-looking cars on the road. With its unique and identifiable shape, the GR Supra stands out in a crowd and is an absolute massive head-turner (we recommend driving it through Fortitude Valley on a Saturday night for the amplified experience).

We know opinions of the front-end often sit at the far ends of the love-hate spectrum in the eyes of car lovers, however, there's no doubting the design of the rear silences any misgivings one may have of the GR Supra's face. Every line, angle and curve of the tail-end works in union with the others to form an immensely satisfying and aesthetically superior package.

As with most sports cars of this calibre, getting behind the wheel isn't exactly the most graceful act, though, once you're in, you get a sense of just how optimised the GR Supra is for the driver. The sports seats wrap around your hips and shoulders, locking you in low and secure and all your controls are within good reach. The seats are also remarkably comfortable allowing for significant time behind the wheel without trouble.


The updated GR Supra maintains the existing output figures of 285kW of power and 500Nm of torque from its BMW-developed 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder turbo petrol B58 engine, however, the major difference with the new six-speed manual transmission option is a weight reduction of 18 kilos. As the accelerator is depressed, power builds fluidly thanks to the twin-scroll turbocharger which results in an exceptionally polished throttle response for precise control when it's needed. This setup alone makes the GR Supra a thrilling ride, however, the introduction of the manual gearbox is what transforms it into an animal. The clutch is forgiving with decent pedal travel and a tactile bite point, while the gearshifts are short, direct, and can be issued with intention. Holding a gear until you reach that sweet spot around 5800-6500rpm provides that exciting power that plants you in the back of your seat. This combination culminates in some phenomenal launches that propel the car from zero to 100km/h in a brisk 4.4 seconds - great for getting a headstart at the traffic lights!

While it's more suited as a weekend drive, the Supra GR is far from a handful on the weekday commute - you'll be working the gears yourself, but the quality of the ride is comfortable enough to daily without issue. However, there's no question, the GR Supra is made for the mountain. It eats up tight curves and sweeping bends with vigour, kept planted by its high-tensile steel chassis, highly focused suspension, and a hefty set of high-performance Michelin Super Sport tyres. Toyota has paid close attention to the handling capabilities of the GR Supra with precision steering that allows you to carry decent speed through corners with minimal disturbance. The high-tech Adaptive Variable Suspension provides continuous monitoring of driving operation and road surface changes to maintain optimal performance through adjustments to the shock absorbers. Lightweight components such as an aluminium bonnet, a fibreglass boot lid, and forged alloy wheels, support the GR Supra's impressive agility and provide an excellent 50:50 weight distribution.

While the NORMAL driving mode will handle almost anything you give it, the customisable SPORT mode dials it in further with adjustments to damping, steering and the active differential. These performance-oriented changes inspire greater confidence and offer a more engaging driving experience. NORMAL mode offers a relaxing cruising experience with pleasantly unobtrusive engine noise and a comfortable ride, though, if you open it up, the straight-six B58 produces a rousing engine note that's sure to put a smile on any car lover's face.


The GR Supra is built for performance so you won't find too many features that focus on practicality. In saying that, there is an array of advanced safety and entertainment features.

Being a twin-under-the-skin of the BMW Z4, the GR Supra features a slightly tweaked BMW iDrive infotainment system. In fact, the vast majority of the centre console has been pulled from its German counterpart. This is to the GR Supra's benefit as it's a well-designed system with a crisp display and maintains BMW's intuitive rotary control knob. If you prefer Apple CarPlay over the native system, you'll be pleased to know that the GR Supra is fitted with the wireless version. On top of this, it features a wireless charging station with a nifty protective cover so you can place other items on top.

In terms of safety tech, it comes with a solid suite of features including crash avoidance, pedestrian avoidance, rear collision and cross traffic warnings, lane departure warning and passive steering assist. Despite the GR Supra's inherent visibility issues, parking is made relatively easy by a high-res rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors that offer an advanced proximity display. Additional performance-focused safety features include electronic brake force distribution, traction and launch control, and corner braking. The digital instrument cluster keeps things simple by focusing the display on elements key to a performance-oriented drive. Your selected gear sits dead-centre surrounded by the tachometer, while your speed is displayed digitally with the whole set flanked by your fuel gauge and engine temperature.


The updated GR Supra is priced from $93,542 and $103,892 for the GT and GTS trims, respectively, with Toyota opting to offer them with no price difference between the two transmission options. The step up to the GTS will upgrade your wheels from 18 inches to a set of 19-inch alloy wheels in a beautiful matte finish dark metallic paint. The upgrade also gets you the sharp heads-up display and a 12-speaker JBL premium audio system.

The standard colour option is Monza Red with alternative options available for an extra $600. The GTS trim is available with two additional matte finish colour options including the new Matte White option (pictured) released for this update, however, these will set you back a hefty $4,590. The GTS also has the option to select a tan leather-accented interior trim for no extra cost or opt for the Black Alcantara trim for $4,590. Choosing both the matte finish and the Alcantara interior, however, will only set you back $7,227.


Overall, the updated GR Supra has nailed the biggest drawback from its original release - the manual transmission. Although it is still very much a BMW, the initial complaints about it not living up to the nameplate's heritage from the 90s - about it not being a true Supra - seem to have died down and the new generation has developed a character of its own.

In terms of performance, it's an absolute thrill. Unleashing the power under the hood is an awesome experience every single time, yet, despite its ability to roar, the output is wonderfully refined. As any enthusiast would agree, the manual gearbox makes for an even more engaging experience.

If none of this resonates with you, the least you can agree with is that the GR Supra is an absolutely stunning car that you can't help to stop and admire as it drives by.

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